Enmeshment of Zimbabwean law and literature in Petina Gappah’s Rotten Row (2016)
Keywords:Petina Gappah; Law and Literature; Zimbabwean literature; Zimbabwean Law; African Literature; Rotten Row
This article assesses the relationship between Zimbabwean literature and Zimbabwean law. This is done by closely reading two short stories from Petina Gappah’s 2016 anthology Rotten Row. A discussion of the ever-burgeoning literature and law movement is conducted in order to situate the article within the broader law and humanities interdisciplinary effort. Images of legal figures and legal institutions are assessed in order to determine the portraits they produce in the fiction. The close relationship of the Zimbabwean court judgement and the judgement as storytelling method in fiction is highlighted and explained. It is concluded that Gappah’s fiction is strongly connected to the law and that this is a deliberate story telling strategy.